A BEACH WALK BLOG 2010
from afternoon and evening beach walks along Pismo State Beach,
between Oceano Beach,
Grover Beach and Pismo Beach,
along with a few detours
favorite local establishments.
Sunday, December 26, 2010 - Dinner at Sea Venture
We had a lovely sunset dinner tonight with our out-of-town guests at
Venture Restaurant. It is located on Pismo Beach,
third floor of the Sea
Venture Hotel. Though dinner does not officially
5PM, we got there earlier in order to watch the beautiful sunset and
enjoy some appetizers. The staff was friendly and
attentive. Our dinner courses included local abalone and
signature seafood dish, appropriately called The Sea Venture.
December 25, 2010 - Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas from Pismo Beach. The Pismo Clams are all
out in their holiday garb. This year they they are dressed
Rudolf, the red nosed reindeer.
Saturday, December 18, 2010 - Lots of Rain
rain. Some streets are flooded and campgrounds closed.
There is one intersection in Oceano that floods every time it
rains. It seems to make the national television news
whenever they need some footage of rain in California. The
local television stations just head out there and
guaranteed to get a shot of a flooded street. The problem is
Caltrans, the county and Union Pacific Railroad can't agree who should
be responsible for fixing it, so year after year it floods.
Anyway, it is nice to be seeing all this on television while we are
sitting in Las Vegas with our new grandchild rather than experiencing
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
- Became a Grandpa! - Off to visit the baby.
We are off to visit the beautiful baby boy who was born on
Saturday. Will be staying with the grandchild for a few
will not be doing much beach walking.
Saturday, December 11, 2010 - Santa comes to town on a
another warm sunny day, with temperatures in the 80's. It was a perfect
summer day - in December (and we are North of the Equator!).
we walked along the beach this evening we would feel alternating gusts
of cool sea air and warm air from the land. After getting
heard the wail of numerous sirens coming down the street and could see
the lights from emergency vehicles headed our way.
sounded like there must be a major disaster, but instead it was Santa
Claus coming to Grover Beach! Each year Santa rides a fire
through the streets of Grover, wishing everyone a Merry
Christmas. A police car and another fire truck also join in
parade, with lights blazing and sirens blaring. It is a fun
to welcome the Holiday season.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010 - Beach Walk Reception before the
It was another warm day and cool night. Around here we often
warm sunny days in winter, and cool foggy days in summer. Too
most of the tourists come in summer (though if they are from the
Central Valley they probably enjoy the cool, foggy, summer
This evening we attended the "Holidays and Art:" event on the recently
renovated Beach Walk, between the Amtrak station and 4th Street on
Grand Ave. Shell Beach Floral featured
music, refreshments and hosted an artists reception. It was a
pleasant way to start our evening walk on the beach.
December 4, 2010 - Snow in Grover Beach?
Today was the Grover Beach Holiday Parade. It is a fun, local
parade, featuring with local schools, businesses and
organizations. The City Manager rode his horse. Miner's
brought out their "precision lawnmower and hand truck team".
local school bands played holiday music, and the elementary schools
without bands paraded in holiday costumes. The parade seemed to pick up
participants as it worked its way down Grand Avenue.
the parade a holiday fair was held at Ramona Gardens Park, with music
by local bands and goods by local artists and crafters. A
load of snow was brought in, so youngsters could slide down the
"hill". This is about the only time the locals get to
that strange, cold, wet, white stuff.
1, 2010 - Lots of Birds
It was another beautiful sunset. Hundreds of Sanderlings and Gulls
stood along the shore looking for dinner. It is always fun to
watch the Sanderlings scurry along as a flock. However they
not cooperating when I tried to take a picture. They would
scurry away or take flight.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - Dinner at McLintocks
the Village of Arroyo Grande.
It was a beautiful sunset, followed by a delicious dinner at F.McLintocks
Saloon in the Village of Arroyo
McLintocks has the same delicious barbecued steaks and ribs as the more
widely know McLintocks
House in Shell Beach, however it is much smaller, providing a
quieter, more relaxed dining atmosphere. Also the prices seem to be a
bit less. Being hidden in the Village of Arroyo Grande on
Street, it is inhabited mostly by locals rather than tourists.
November 25, 2010 - Happy Thanksgiving
It was a clear, sunny day. Temperatures were in the
fifties. Hundreds of families were waddling along the beach
the boardwalk in order to try to to work off some of that delicious
Tuesday, November 23, 2010 - Cider Run
Thanksgiving is coming, so we did a run to the apple orchards in nearby See
to pick up some fresh apple cider for the upcoming feast.
make delicious, unfiltered, unpasteurized, fresh apple cider.
think it is even more delicious if it is left open for a few days and
starts to ferment, creating a light, sparkling, effervescence.
Monday, November 22, 2010 - The Lost Phone
We had a night walk, accompanied by some teenage friends.
Unfortunately one of them lost their cell phone while playing on the
beach. It was dark, making it hard to find the missing phone.
got out flashlights and soon everyone scurrying around looking for the
phone. We tried calling it in hopes we could see
Unfortunately it was on silent mode so we would not be able to hear
it. Finally we got organized, formed a straight line, and
proceeded down the beach searching for the phone. On the
sweep we found the missing phone, somewhat sandy, but still in good
condition. The battery had jarred loose, which is why the
would not ring. At first we thought it appropriate to call our friends
and celebrate, as in the parable of the Lost Coin in the Bible (Luke
15: 8-10), but then decided it was probably better first go home, clean
it up, make sure there was no damage, and have some hot chocolate to
21, 2010 - Sunny Days and Stormy Nights
The last two days have been bright and sunny, however major storms,
have blown through at night with strong winds, heavy rains, lightning
The ever changing weather has produced some dramatic sunsets (probably
some dramatic sunrises also, but I don't get up that early).
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - Photographer in the fog at
A thick, low, fog rolled in again this evening. The moon shown through
overhead. We passed several people walking or running in the
and fog. Near the Pismo Pier we came across Holly, a
from Sacramento, who was doing some amazing shots of the waves and
lights though the fog at night.
Tuesday, November, 16, 2010 - Lots of weather in a day - But
change in the seasons.
Along the coast there is a constant interplay between the cool ocean
air, and the warm inland air. This keeps temperatures
all year around. Throughout the year it rarely gets above the
eighties, or below the fifties during the day, regardless of the
within a day or within a few miles, the weather can easily swing from
the eighties to the fifties. It was a warm morning, with
temperatures in the seventies. In the early
thick ocean fog rolled in, and temperatures plummeted to the mid
fifties. About nine at night, the fog suddenly lifted,
a clear, starry night. Sometimes temperatures can
20 degrees or within just a mile or two. There are days when
is been in the eighties in downtown Arroyo Grande, but in the Fifties
at the beach about 3 miles away. In summer, when the fogs
in, it is often cooler than in winter, when there are bright, sunny,
skies. The sharp variations in local weather is why we always
keep an extra coat in the car when we go places around here, and why
the State Parks suggest you dress in layers.
Monday, November 15, 2010 - Frisbee in the Dark
It was an late evening beach walk, well after the sun had gone
down. A large group was playing Frisbee with a lighted
Sunday, November 14, 2010 - A Beautiful Sunday Afternoon
It was a lovely, sunny, Sunday afternoon. Four
surfers ran onto the beach with boards in hand, ready to catch some
waves. Parents were dipping their tiny, young, child into the
surf for the first time. The tyke was laughing with delight
the water and waves. Men and women were riding their horses
along the beach. All seemed to be having a lovely afternoon
10, 2010 - Buzzards and The Green
The legions of bird watchers are gone. The seal carcass
remains. Apparently the Ivory Gull is also gone.
there were two buzzards and a sea gull eating what is left of a very
dead seal. Just as the sun went down we saw the Green Flash.
The Green Flash
rare atmospheric phenomena that occurs a moment after the sun dips
below the horizon.
Sunday, November 7, 2010 -
The Ivory Gull
A rare Ivory Gull was sited at Grover Beach. Bird watchers
all over California descended upon the beach with their high power
optics and cameras to catch a glimpse of the extraordinary bird, which
is normally only found in the Arctic. According to one
is only the second sighting of the bird in
rare was bird seen feasting on the carcass of a dead seal.
Apparently even Ivory Gulls vacation on the Central Coast, enjoying our
wonderful scenery, beautiful climate and delicious food. The
watchers had to put up with the usual crowd of dog walkers, beach
parties, beach walkers and surfers, but most reported seeing the
Tuesday, November 2, 2010 - Children playing in the Lagoon
It was a lovely warm afternoon
(the weather is generally nicer on the
Central Coast in the "off season" than the "tourist season" - but don't
tell the tourists that, they might want to come all year
around!). Children from the nearby
campgrounds were playing in a long, shallow, beach lagoon created by
and high tides.
Monday, November 1, 2010 - A Shooting Star
It was a warm day, and a clear warm night. A shooting star
streaked across the sky.
October 26, 2010, - A Halloween Sunset
Even though it was not quite Halloween, we observed a beautiful
Halloween sunset from the North
Pismo State Beach campground.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - Butterflies are Back!
The Butterflies are returning to the Pismo Beach Monarch
Grove. There are thousands of them, and more seem
arriving every day!
Thursday, Sept. 23, 2010 - Bugs Bunny
Everyone comes to vacation in Pismo Beach, even Bugs
You should come too.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010 - Lots of dolphins
A school of
dolphins were splashing merrily a short distance off shore. There must
have been over twenty of the graceful creatures.
Sunday, September 12, 2010 - Kids on the Beach
is fun to watch kids at the beach. The very young ones, never
having experienced the ocean before, are not sure what to make of it
when their parents dip them into the cold water. Slightly older
children like running in and out of the surf, chasing the waves back
and forth. Other kids (and adults who feel like kids) build grand
and not so grand castles in the sand. Towards evening, young
couples cuddle up with one another and enjoy the sunset.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010 - Mystery Ship
It was a strange sunset. There was sun on the beach, but a low, thick
gray, fog bank was a short distance off the shore. Above the fog
there orange clouds from the sunset. As it got dark a large
mysterious boat emerged from the fog a few hundred yards off of Grover
Beach. At first we could only see a few bright lights from
the boat. As the fog gradually lifted we could see more lights
and more of the outline of the boat. However by then it had
gotten dark and could not make out any details of the boat or see what
it was doing. The boat had numerous lights and some unusual equipment
on deck. It did not look like a yacht or a fishing boat. It
was too small to be carrying cargo. Perhaps it had something
to do with the undersea cable that reaches from Grover Beach all the
way to Asia.
September 3, 2010 - Dolls on the Beach
Some real dolls were sunning themselves on the beach, while their young
owners went splashing in the waves.
September 2, 2010 - Gulls and Cars
We took a morning walk on Oceano beach with some friends who were
staying at the Birds of a Feather Vacation
Beach House. Driving is allowed on that section of the
beach, but that did not seem to bother the gulls. They just stood
there and watched the cars go by.
Saturday, August 28, 2010 - Stone Soup
Soup Festival in Grover Beach is an annual weekend of wonderful
music, food, and fun centered around the Ramona Gardens Park. It was a
sunny day, with a mild ocean breeze to keep the everyone comfortably
cool. The event starts with the Dune Run Run, which includes a
5K walk, 5K run and 10K run. A wide range of musicians perform
throughout the weekend. Complementing the good music are food
booths serving variety of cuisine (we liked the Hawaiian), craft booths
with a wide range of mostly hand made arts and crafts, as well as
representatives from many local organizations. A large child's area
kept the kids busy, while the adults danced or relaxed to the music. A
fun weekend was had by all.
Friday, August 20, 2010 - Kayaking in Morro Bay
We rented a Kayak from the Kayak Shack at the
Morro Bay State Park Marina. We leisurely paddled across the bay
to the sand spit on the other side. After pulling the boat up on
the shore, we spent some time relaxing on the sand and admiring the
views and the birds. We were unable to hike all the way across
the sand spit as part of it was been fenced off for a protected bird
nesting area. The return trip to the Kayak Shack was much faster,
was we had both the wind and tide behind us. We then visited a
few of the many shops in Morro Bay.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010 - Dozens of Dolphins
Dozens of dolphins were leaping in the water a short distance off
shore. Beachwalkers up and down the shore stop to watch.
Sunday, August 15, 2010 - Sky and
Just off-shore, in the sky above the ocean, Banner
Airways was doing an aerobatic flight in their Super Stearman
bi-plane. I am sure the passenger was having the ride of a
lifetime. For me, it would have been more of a barf-o-matic
flight. Just off-shore, in the water, the otter was
swimming through the waves, occasionally diving down to find some food,
then coming up and laying on its back in the surf to enjoy its
Thursday, August 12, 2010 - Dinner and a Show
We had a delicious dinner at Old
Juan's Cantina, located on the corner of Highway 1 and Pier Ave. in
Oceano. They offer a full bar as well as a wide selection of Mexican
dishes for lunch and dinner. The service was excellent.
Following dinner, we took in the show at the Great American
in Oceano. Tonight's play was The
Tavern, by George M. Cohan, followed by a Vaudeville
Revue called The Travel Time.
The Tavern is set in a small
country tavern on a dark and stormy night. All sorts of oddball
and suspicious characters arrive, ranging from a mysterious vagabond to
Governor, creating a twisted and humorous plot. The production was a
fun mix of comedy, mystery and suspense that could keep anyone laughing
in their dreams. The Travel
series of song and dance numbers, ranging from silly to serious,
dealing with the trials and fun of summer vacations. A throughly
enjoyable evening was had by all.
Friday, August 6, 2010 - Dinner Time?
There must have been a school of fish a few hundred yards off shore
from Grover Beach. Hundreds of birds were circling low over the
water and diving in to grab dinner. From below the surface
dolphins would leap into the air. A bit further north an
otter was swimming on it back in the surf feasting on clams.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010 - Hapa Haole's Snack Shack
This evening we had dinner at Hapa Haole's Snack Shack.
Haole's is a small establishment located near the beach on Highway 1
across from the Butterfly Grove and the Pismo State Beach Camp Ground
in Pismo. We enjoyed their outdoor dining were we watched some
boys trying to fish from the tiny creek that flows nearby, and could
observe the chef barbecuing up various delights They also have a
small dining room and do take-out. They offer a variety of delicious
Hawaiian dishes as well as smoothies and shaved ice. I had the Kalua
Pork, which had a rich, smoky, flavor and the "Monkey Ribs" which were
nice and spicy. The food
was excellent and the service friendly. The meat was tender and
well seasoned. We highly recommend the establishment for
lunch, dinner, and of course, snacks.
August 1, 2010 - A Modern Sand Castle
We saw the Green Flash as the
sun set this evening as we approached the beach from the Grover Beach
parking lot. On the beach was
a wonderful "modern style" sand castle.
July 31, 2010 - An Evening Walk
This evening we started our walk at the Grover Beach parking lot, just
as the sun was going down. It was still dusk when we reached the
Pismo Pier. A number of people were still fishing from the
Pier. Pier fishing is popular, especially with
tourists. A fishing license is not required. Rods are
available for rent and bait may be purchased from the concession stand
on the Pier. Below, in the waters next to the Pier, surfers were
waiting to catch one last wave before heading in. Young couples
were enjoying each others embrace as they walked the pier or enjoyed
the views. On our walk back to Grover we were treated with
fireworks shows launched by campers on Oceano Beach.
July 30, 2010 - Cruising Grand Avenue
Each year the Arroyo Valley Car Club sponsors
a Cruise Night along Grand Avenue and a Car Show in the Village of
Arroyo Grande. The events draw hundreds of wonderful old
automobiles and thousands of visitors for the festivities. We
hopped into our 1958 Edsel and cruised on down to The Girl's Restaurant
for a classic Cheeseburger, Fries and a Shake. It seems we were not the
only ones with that idea. The parking lot was filled with old
cars and the waitresses were dressed in 1950's outfits. The
located on Grand Ave., is a prime viewing area to watch all the
cars go by. Thousands of spectators bring chairs and line Grand
Avenue to watch the parade of cars. After dinner we joined in The
Cruise, slowing driving up and down Grand Avenue, waving, taking
pictures and admiring the many wonderful vehicles. Click Here for pictures of a few of the many
vehicles we saw.
July 26, 2010 - Climbing Stairs
For some of additional exercise, we decided to climb some of the sets
of stairs that lead up the cliffs from the beach to the streets and
hotels in Pismo Beach that are north of the Pier. Climbing up the
stairs is a bit of a workout, however there are lovely views of the
beach and surf from the top of the cliffs. From the Kon Tiki Inn we could see
numerous dolphins swimming offshore.
July 24, 2010 - Walking the Cats
Lots of people walk their dogs around Pismo Beach. Today we saw a
couple walking their cat and kitten along the Pismo Boardwalk.
Well, they were trying the walk their cats. The cats were not always
cooperating. Unlike dogs, cats do not seem to enjoy going on walks.
Thursday, July 22, 2010 - Dolphins
Some dolphins were swimming a short distance off shore. They were
joined by a flock of birds who were also looking for fish for dinner.
July 21, 2010 - Montaña de Oro
We took an easy and relaxing hike along the Bluff Trail at Montaña
State Park. The hike includes wonderful ocean views of the rugged
coast. We also explored some of the tide pools and looked for
pretty stones on the beach. We saw ships and boats sailing off the
shore. The Mountain of Gold refers to the golden
wildflowers that burst into bloom in spring.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
- Boogie Boarding
The long, slow breaking waves and pleasant weather made it a perfect
day to go boogie boarding with friends and family.
July 14, 2010 - Construction on the Boardwalk.
Pismo Beach is expanding the popular boardwalk a block north.
Pile drivers are pounding in new pier supports for the expanded
boardwalk. Improved beach access and showers are also included as
part of the project. We are looking forward to its completion.
Sunday, July 11, 2010 - A pleasant evening
It was a pleasant evening. We started our walk shortly after
sunset. The lights around the San Luis Obispo Bay twinkled on,
one by one. By the time it was dark the rim of the bay was lite
with sparkling lights. We heard a seal barking in the distance.
Saturday, July 10, 2010 - From a Dog's point of view -
Today's blog is written by Mac the Westie
Oh boy! A walk on the beach! I can hardly wait!
Oh boy! Let's stop and smell the pole, got to see who has been here
since yesterday. Oh Boy! So many wonderful things to smell on the
beach. Oh boy! A dead fish! It smells delicious - it must have been
dead a few days! Look at that cute Pug! Oh boy!
Seaweed! I will pick it up and shake it to make sure it is
dead. That Yorkie looks friendly, wonder if we can play!
Horses! Grrr! Oh boy more seaweed! Smells great! Oh, Oh,
that bulldog looks mean. Woof! That ought to show him who
is boss. If I could only get off this leash I could chase those
seagulls. What a Oh Boy! What is this? Horse hoofs in the
sand! I wonder where they came from? Look at the Golden
Retriever chase balls into the water. That looks like fun!
Oh Boy! A Dead Bird! I think I will pick it up and carry it
around! What do you mean I have to put it down? What an
adorable Scottie! Lets sniff! Oh Boy a garbage can! I
wonder who has been here lately. I better leave my mark! A
Chihuahua! I wonder if he is friendly? And look
at those two cute Miniture Poodles! Oh Boy! More Seaweed! Yum Yum! Oh
Boy! Look, a German Shepherd puppy! Let's Play! Let's Play! Oh
Boy! A log to sniff! There are so many interesting smells
in the sand today! Oh Boy! We are back at the pole. Better
take another sniff! Oh Boy! We are back at the car! We can
go home! Oh Boy!
7, 2010 - The Rookery
Dozens of California Gulls have made their nests on cliffs and the
off shore rocks near Dinosaur Point Park and Margo Dodd Park in Pismo
Beach. The chicks are fluffy balls of feathers, that are carefully fed
and guarded by their parents.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010 - The Cool California Coast
While much of the rest of the country seems to be having an unusually
warm July, thus far it has been an unusually cool month on the
central coast of California. The night and morning low
clouds or fog usually burn off by mid afternoon, leaving the day
pleasantly cool, with temperatures in the sixties.
Monday, July 5, 2010 - Karaoke Night
Tonight we joined a group of friends for Karaoke
Night at the Birds of a
Beach House. Singing ranged from almost tolerable (my
excellent - with most of it excellent ( it helps to have friends who
are professional musicians). Unlike me, the singers in the
picture sounded great. The kids sang, played foosball and
board games. The adults sang and socialized. A great time
was had by all.
Sunday, July 4, 2010 - Fireworks
The beaches around Grover Beach and Oceano have some of the best
firework displays in all of California (assuming the fog does not roll
in). Looking north, one can watch an impressive half-hour display
operated the City of Pismo Beach launched off the end of the
To the South hundreds of people from all over the state come to launch
their fireworks over the ocean. The displays last for hours and
include a wide variety of impressive aerial fireworks. It makes
for quite a celebration. Get there early however as the beach
fills up quickly on the Fourth.
Friday, July 2, 2010 - Band Concert in the Park
It was a lovely, clear day for a band concert. The Air National
Guard Band put on a superb concert of patriotic and other music at the
Ramona Gardens Park in Grover Beach. Some families brought picnic
dinners to enjoy while listening to the music. An enjoyable
afternoon was had by all.
Thursday, July 1, 2010 - The Campers Are Coming!
The Fourth of July is probably the busiest week of the year on Oceano
Beach. Thousands of campers bring their RV's, tents, ATV's, Dune
Buggies, Sand Bikes and other toys to camp right out on the beach and
have some fun and relaxation. There are no specific camp sites so
it can get a bit crowded as each tries to claim a spot on the sand. As
we walked along Oceano Beach we saw a steady stream of vehicles driving
to the camp area, which starts about a mile south of the Pier Ave.
entrance to the beach. Some came on foot, lugging their camp gear
with them. By Friday the camping area is completely full.
June 30, 2010 - Another Pretty Sunset
After some morning fog and low clouds, it turned into a lovely summer
afternoon. We enjoyed another magnificant sunset on the beach.
June 29, 2010 - A Delicious Walk
Today we walked the trail from The Butterfly Grove to Pismo Beach. It
was a delicious walk. We munched on some wild anise, with
its wonderful licorice flavor, that grew alongside the trail. A
bit further on we picked some delicious ripe wild blackberries.
Upon arriving at Pismo Beach we were rewarded
with a beautiful sunset, complete with the elusive Green Flash.
Saturday, June 26, 2010 - Sand Castles
There is something about the soft white sands of Pismo Beach that seems
to bring out the inner architect in so many beachgoers. One
just gets the urge to build a sand castle. Some are wonderful
and complicated. Some are simple. Here are pictures
of a few of the sand castles (plus a sand turtle and sand fish) that we
saw on today's
Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - Summer is Here!
After the marine layer finally burned off, it was a glorious, sunny
afternoon. Hundreds of people (and their dogs) were walking
the beach. A few brave souls even went swimming in the ocean.
Monday, June 21, 2010 - Summer is Here?
Summer is officially here, though it was tough to tell today from the
weather. A thick marine layer formed over the coast (though
was sunny a short distance off shore) and the temperatures dropped into
the 60's, making for a rather cool summer day. The weather along the
Central Coast is often the opposite of that in the Central
Valley. When the Valley heats up, the coast tends to cool
down. In summer, when it is in the 90's or 100's in Fresno or
Bakersfield, it can be in the 60's on the coast. Those living
the Central Valley like coming to the coast for a few days to cool
off. They just need to remember to bring a coat or sweatshirt
(though there are plenty of vendors who do well supplying Central
Valley tourists who forget to bring warm clothes). In winter,
the Central Valley has thick Tule Fog, the Central Coast is usually
clear and sunny.
2010 - Car Show
The annual Pismo Beach Car Show started today and runs through the
weekend. Pismo Beach and surrounding towns, are filled with
hundreds of old cars, including antiques, beautifully restored classics
and hot rods. It is fun watching them drive by.
Many of the
best cars are displayed on the pier and nearby parking lots. Vendors
from all over the west coast have set up in Pismo, offering a wide
array of goodies to buy and eat. It is a great way to spend a
Monday, June 14, 2010 - Oil
As we walked along, we noticed many small globs of tar on the
beach. Unlike the current mess that is occurring on the Gulf
Coast, these are from naturally occurring offshore oil seeps, which
every now and then burp up some oil. The name Pismo is
from the Chumash Indian word for tar or asphalt. The Chumash
would gather the tar and use it to seal their baskets and boats. Oil
exploration has been going on in the nearby Price Canyon for over 100
years. The oil on the beach usually breaks down and
within a a few days.
2010 - A Volcano on the Beach!
We enjoyed a lovely Saturday evening with friends by having a campfire
on the beach. The girls made a "volcano".
2010 - Concert in the Park
This afternoon we stopped by the Sizzlin' Summer Concert Series and
Farmers Market to enjoy some hot music in the warm California
sun. The band, Cadillac
performed a great mix of songs that had the audience dancing.
Summer Concert Series Series and Farmers Market
is a free
held each Sunday afternoon, June through September, from 3PM
6PM at the Ramona Gardens Park in Grover Beach, featuring local bands
and local vendors. It is a wonderful place to relax, listen
music, dance, chat with friends and neighbors, enjoy some
food, pick up some fresh, local produce or perhaps purchase
local arts or crafts. We purchased a nice, framed, photograph
the beach as well as some yummy strawberries.
Saturday, June 5, 2010 - Warm Saturday Afternoon
It was a lovely, warm, Saturday afternoon. Many surfers,
swimmers, boogie boarders and skimboarders were cooling off in the
ocean. Raul created another spectacular sandcastle by the
only to have it washed away be the evening tide. A family
relaxing on the beach did not notice that the tide was slowly rising,
until they were splashed by a wave that crawled up the beach. The kids
went chasing after shoes and sand toys to make sure they did
get washed out to sea while the adults moved the now wet beach towels
to higher ground. As usual, the line at the Splash
on Pomeroy Ave in
Pismo Beach, extended out the door and around the corner. The
Splash Cafe is a favorite for their delicious award winning clam
Thursday, June 3, 2010 - Didn't see the seal
It was a warm, dark, moonless night. A number of couples were
taking romantic strolls on the beach, listening to the quiet
lapping of the waves. As we proceeded along the beach, we
strange sound nearby, but could not make out what it was in the
dark. I got out the flashlight and shined it on the large,
strange looking, blob on the beach. It was a seal, just a few
feet away from us! It lumbered towards the waves to escape
Sunday, May 30, 2010 - The Otter is back!
It was a warm, sunny, Memorial Day weekend. A lot
families came out to enjoy the beach. Kids were boogie
the surf, though the waves were low. Much to the enjoyment of
those on the beach, the Otter was still in the area, swimming in the
surf and digging for clams. His antics were enjoyed by all.
Thursday, May 27, 2010 - Lively Otter - Dead Sealion
Following a brief afternoon rain shower, we ventured onto the
beach. The sun was sparkling on the water. A few
were trying to catch a wave, but most of the waves seemed rather
quiet. A sea otter was playing in the surf near the
Most of the time he was floating on his back, but every now and dive
under the waves and find something to eat. Further down the
beach, a very dead sea lion washed ashore in the surf.
Friday, May 21, 2010 - Money blowing in the wind
The winds kicked up in the late afternoon while we were on our beach
walk. A piece of currency blew out from someone's pocket and
fluttering down the beach in the wind.. They took off,
down the beach for hundreds of yards, unsuccessfully trying to jump
onto the bill in order to grab it. They were soon joined by a
friend, who also had no luck in stopping the cash blowing in the
wind. Eventually the bill landed in Pismo Creek, where the
crosses the beach. Luckily its owner managed to
from the creek before the money got washed out to sea.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010 -
A Dead Hearse
On our way to the beach this evening we passed a dead hearse parked in
front of an automotive repair shop on Grand Avenue in Grover Beach.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010 - Baby Dolphins and their Moms.
It was a beautiful sunset walk along the cliffs of Shell
Below, we could see mother dolphins and their young leaping in the
Monday, May 17, 2010 - Sun upon the water
We had an unusual mid-May rain storm today. It cleared by
evening so we took our beach walk. The sea was unusually
with very low waves. The sun, breaking through the clouds,
shimmered upon the Ocean.
Saturday, May 15, 2010 - Grand Dunes Trail Nature Walk
This morning we joined a nature walk of the Grand Dunes Trail led by
Jerry Stanley. It was a lovely, cool morning. Many
were in bloom, including Silver Lupin, Sand Verbena, Wild Mustard,
Indian Paint Brush, and Indian Paint. We also saw a variety
birds and some wildlife. The trail runs about a mile through the dunes,
from the Grand Ave. entrance station in Grover Beach to the Oceano
Campgound. In that short distance it passes through a variety
micro-climates and ecological niches. Though we have walked
trail before, he pointed out many details that we missed
his knowlege and keen eye. The Central
Coast Natural History
sponsors numerous nature walks
throughout the area.
Friday, May 7, 2010 - The Bird Cage
The rangers have erected a fence surrounding a large bird cage to
protect the nest of an endangered Snowy Plover on the beach.
bird seems happy in its large, protected cage. We could not see for
sure if the chicks have hatched. The plovers build their
beach, where there are shifting sands, maurading birds and animals,
not to mention people wandering around. No wonder the species
endangered. It is suprising that it has lasted this long.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010 - Buzzard and Barking Sands
As we walked along the beach we saw a buzzard enjoying something that
was very dead. One can often see the magnificent birds
overhead. Near the Pismo Pier we discovered an area of
sands". Scrapeing ones feet in the sands causes it to make a
noise which sounds vaguely like a dog’s bark.
bark is left over from all the dogs that enjoy walking along the beach
Thursday, April 29, 2010 - Ducklings and a Lovely Sunset
It was a windy day, so we walked along the boardwalk rather
than on the beach today. We saw a duck and her two ducklings in the
small pond next to the Butterfly Grove. It was a wonderful
sunset, with the clouds glowing in bright colors.
Sunday, April 25, 2010 - Young Sea Lion
It was a warm, sunny day, so we decided to do a late morning beach
walk. A young sea lion was resting on the beach, under the
careful guard of a ranger who made sure no-one approached too
closely. Further down the beach surfers and wave riders were
enjoying the waves. Some people were riding horses on the
beach. It was a wonderful Sunday morning on the beach.
Friday, April 23, 2010 - Walking a Car
Lots of people walk their dogs on the beach. Today we saw two
boys walking remote control cars down the beach, driving the cars a few
ahead of them as they walked down the beach..
17, 2010 - Tortoises and the Circus
On our way to the beach we passed two ladies walking their
tortoises! Flowers were strapped on the backs of the
tortoises. As might be expected, they were not moving very
fast. On the beach we encountered an exuberant group of
performers, including stilt walkers, hoop dancers and baton
twirlers. One of the stilt walkers, Mike Templeton, was even
jumping rope with a long piece of seaweed found on the beach.
Thursday, April 15, 2010 - China Buffet
Dinner tonight was at The China Buffet Restaurant located at the corner
of Oak Park and Grand Ave. in Grover Beach. They offer both menu items
(which can be carried out) as well as a buffet. The buffet
offers a variety of Chinese, Japanese and American
dishes. The dinner buffet usually includes crab legs, shrimp,
tempura and sushi. We especially like going here when we have
big group as they can comfortably accommodate us,
gets to pick what they like or avoid what they don't like, and all are
fed quickly. After dinner we had a short, pleasant
Thursday, April 8,
2010 - Arroyo Grande Creek
It was a pleasant, cool, afternoon as walked along the quiet Arroyo
Grande Creek from the beach to the riding
It is a beautiful walk, with trees arching over the creek for much of
the way, creating an almost jungle-like atmosphere. Along the
we saw a number of ducks, some rabbits, and lots of
recommend using insect repellent when walking along the creek around
April 7, 2010 -
It is Spring Break for many schools and downtown Pismo is busy with
students and families enjoying the warm spring
weather. Some students are more dedicated
studies than others.
April 4, 2010 - Happy Easter
The Giant Pismo Clams around Pismo Beach have been dressed up in their
finest for Easter. They are Easter Bunny clams, or maybe it
Clam Easter Bunnies. Either way, it is fun to see the clams
with the season. This clam is located next to the Pismo
Chamber of Commerce
and visitors center on Dolliver
Friday, April 2, 2010 - Guitar Jam
The sun was low in the sky. Three young men played their
acoustical guitars on the Grover Beach boardwalk. It was a mellow
30, 2010 - The Oceano Lagoon
we took a short walk around the lagoon at Oceano Memorial
lagoon, located at the center of the Oceano Beach neighborhood is a
relaxing and peaceful place filled with a variety of ducks and
One family was feeding the ducks. The young children were
fun. Further on children were playing at the Oceano
located across the street from the lagoon. We stopped by the
Airport to see the airplanes.. The most interesting
were the WWII vintage planes operated by Banner
Some teenagers were fishing in the lagoon. A lovely afternoon
had by all.
Saturday, March 27,
2010 - A Lovely Saturday Afternoon
It was a warm afternoon. The waves were a sparkling bright
green. Numerous families were enjoying the beach, yet it was
crowded. Children were playing in the surf. It was
day at the beach.
Friday, March 26, 2010 - Kites
It was a breezy afternoon. A fisherman was enjoying himself at the
Oceano lagoon. Some ducks paraded down the middle of the
Ave., stopping traffic. A number of people were flying kites
the beach, some more succesfully than others. There were airplane
kites, dragon kites and kites of all sorts of other shapes and sizes.
Kites have sure gotten a lot fancier and prettier than the old diamond
shaped paper kites of my childhood.
March 23, 2010 -
Penelope the Pig
It was a breezy day and the kite boarders were out in force.
There must have been over 30 of them sailing through the waves. Today
we saw Penelope the Pig taking her afternoon walk. Penelope
14 year old Pot-Belly Pig that takes daily walks on Grover Beach.
March 21, 2010 -
Kite Board Expo Continues
The Kite Board Expo continued today. The beach was filled
colorful kites and tents. Unfortunately the winds were rather
weak in the afternoon, making it difficult for exhibitors and
contestants to demonstrate the full extent of their
Saturday, March 20, 2010 - Local Vocals at Fin's
A cool ocean fog rolled in this afternoon, slowly edging its way up the
hills of Grover Beach and Pismo Beach. The Local
however provided plenty of hot music at Fin's
Restaurant and Bar
, located on the beach at the end of Grand
Grover Beach. Fin's is a great place to have a drink, relax
the open air patio, or enjoy a meal.
Friday, March 19, 2010 - Busy Day at the Beach.
Lots going on at the Beach today. A Kite Boarding Expo with
exhibitors and boarders from around the country was taking place near
the Grand Ave. entrance to the beach. A bit further north
were a number of egrets along the shore. Horseback riders
riding along the surf. Small children were playing ball or frisbee with
their parents. And there was the usual dog walkers, joggers,
Tuesday, March 16, 2010 - The Sand Man
As we walked along the warm, sunny beach we spied a sand man.
Someone built a cute little sandman in the style of a traditional snow
man. Since we lack snow around here, they used the materials
hand: damp beach sand, twigs, sea shells and beach pebbles.
Monday, March 15, 2010 - Pussywillows, Shells and Kyakers
Another beautiful, warm afternoon. The Pussywillows are in
along the Pier Ave next to the the Pismo
State Beach Oceano campground
Many people are walking or jogging along the beach. Lots of shells and
small rocks can be found along the beach due to the recent storms and
the low tide. Some young men are kyaking
near the shore.
March 14, 2010 - The Birds
A beautiful, warm, afternoon. Hundreds of birds have gathered
dinner where the Pismo Creek flows into the ocean to see what yummy
goodies might be washed along.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010 - Cool Cats
It was another late evening walk on another clear, cool,
Ours was the only car in the parking lot. When we returned
our walk we noticed a cat pearched atop the car. As we got closer it
lept down and ran off. Four more cats then dashed out from
the car. The car must have been the warmest spot around for
Monday, March 8, 2010 - Station Grill
Tonight's dinner was at the Station Grill. The Station Grill
family restaurant located on Grand Avenue just across the
tracks from the Grover Beach Amtrak
station. The food
simple, tasty, fresh and reasonably priced. And it is a great
place to sit and watch the trains go by while enjoying a
After dinner we walked along the along the boardwalk from the Grand
Ave. parking lot towards Pismo Beach. It was a clear, cool
night. For those of us spoiled by the wonderful climate here,
was actually a rather cold night. We soon gave up the walk
headed our heated automobile.
Sunday, March 7, 2010 - Kiteboarders
It was a windy afternoon. Dozens of kite boarders were on the
beach between the Grand Ave. entrance and the Pier Ave.
entrance. Some were learning, some were performing amazing
stunts, some were leaping high into the air. They all looked
they were having a LOT of fun.
Thursday, March 4, 2010 - Starry, Starry Night
It was a clear, cool, night. There was no moon. The
shined brightly in the sky. The waves lapped quietly upon the
Saturday, February 27, 2010 - Tsunami?
The beach was closed for much of the day due to a Tsunami warning from
the Chilean earthquake. Apparently there were some surges,
however but we did not notice them, perhaps because we were not close
enough to the water, and the waves were already large due to off-shore
storms. By evening the tide and waves were high enough
any Tsunami) that most of the beach was covered up to the sand dunes,
limiting our ability to walk on the beach.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010 - Beach Zones
Beach has about
20 miles of beautiful, continuous, white sand,
which provides a lot of opportunities for everyone to enjoy various
beach activities. Both officially and unofficially, the beach has been
divided into zones for different activities. The
starts below the cliff north of the Pismo Pier. Below the
are tide pools and small caves that can be explored during low
tide. There are a number of nice motels and hotels with easy
beach access between the Cliffs and the Pier. During summer
hundreds of vacationers enjoy relaxing on the this section of the
beach. Near the Pismo Pier are some beach volley ball courts
swings to be enjoyed by all. Surfers and boogie boarders
gather near the Pismo Pier to catch a few waves. The shallow
bottom and relatively mild waves make the Pismo Pier an excellent place
to learn to surf, and nearby surf shops as well as the city recreation
department offer surfing lessons. Surfers do have to be
about getting too close to the Pier, as there are often fishermen
casting their lines from the Pier. Rods may be rented and
purchased from the concession stand on the pier, and no fishing license
is required. The area south of the Pismo Pier to Grand Avenue
Grover Beach is a favorite for local walkers. Each day
of walk along this stretch of the beach, with many walking their
dogs. Both a public and a private campground are located just
the beach, allowing campers easy access to the beach.
the beach but a few hundred yards inland is the boardwalk with provides
beautiful beach views. Cars are allowed to drive on
beach from Grand Avenue to the area around Oso Flaco Lake about 6 miles
to the south. Campfires are also allowed in this section of
beach. It is the only public beach on which cars are allowed,
making it a popular vacation destination. Families will load
the car, find a comfortable spot on the beach, and spend the
Cars may enter the beach either at Grand Ave. in Grover Beach, or at
Pier Ave. in Oceano. Just south of Pier Ave. is a small group
homes built next to the beach. The area, generally known as
Strand neighborhood of Oceano Beach consists primarily of second homes,
long term rentals and vacation rentals. It is a popular area for family
reunions, get togethers and church retreats. About a mile or
south of the Pier Ave. entrance to the beach is the on beach camping
area. Many campers bring their Recreational Vehicles as there
minimal public facilities. You can camp right on the sand at
the beach, however there are no formal camping sites and it can get a
bit crowded on busy weekends. South of the camping area is the ATV
area. Those with All Terrain Vehicles or Dune Buggies may ride them on
the huge sand dunes. At the end of the ATV area is Oso Flaco
lake. From Oso Flaco lake to the end of the beach the area
returns to its natural peace and quite. The beach here is
much empty except for the hundreds of birds that live along the
shore. In order to protect some endangered species, the beach
sometimes closed to the public for parts of the year.
February 15, 2010 - Campfires
It was a pleasant, warm day and a cool evening. Between Grand
Ave. and Pier Ave there were a few groups were gathered around
campfires. Someone with a guitar was singing into thel evening
Monday, February 8, 2010 - A Flying Saucer!
The tide was high this evening, so we were forced to walk on the soft
sand rather than the hard, damp, sand that we prefer. As we
looked up, over the ocean, we saw in the sky a large saucer outlined in
white lights. Glowing red lights were on the top and bottom center of
the saucer. It proceeded silently and slowly across the sky,
heading north. Perhaps it was going to Moffett Field
Sunday, February 7, 2010 - A delicious Thai dinner
We had friends visit from out-of-town. After enjoying a delicious
bottle of wine from the local Edna Valley Vinyard
we brought them to one of our favorite local restaurants: Thai
located at the corner of 5th and Grand in Grover Beach. It is
great, little, Thai restaurant. The food is wonderful, the
are reasonable, and the staff is friendly and accommodating
A relaxing and tasty dinner was enjoyed by all.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010 - Unusual Colors
started our beach walk shortly before sunset. The Ocean was
unusual yellow-green, almost peridot, in color.
sun and clouds were bright orange. The orange sky reflected
the wet sand creating a fascinating array of colors on the beach
Saturday, January 30, 2010 - Full Moon and Dinner
was a gorgeous full moon tonight. The sky was almost clear,
just a few bright, whispy, clouds reflecting the moon's rays.
Dinner tonight was at Cafe Vostro
located about 2 blocks from the beach on Grand Avenue.
was delicious, the Lemon Cake we had for desert was absolutely
wonderful, and the service excellent. The Cafe is usually
for Breakfast and Lunch, and often for dinner.
Friday, January 29, 2010 - Dr. Danger at the SLOdown Pub
After this evenings beach walk we visited the SLOdown
on Grand Avenue at Brisco Road in Arroyo Grande. Ellie's
wonderful, "casual gourmet:" restaurant shares the facility.
The Pub is a relaxing, mellow, establishment that features
wines, local beers, local bands, local art, dancing and friendly
conversation. There is live music most evenings, supplemented
an occasional poetry reading or other activities.
their calendar at http://www.slodownpub.com/event_calendar.shtml
Tonight music was provided by one of our
favorites, Dr. Danger
They preformed their usual, slightly eclectic, mix of blues, soft rock
and a few other odds and ends thrown in as well.
Thursday, January 28, 2010 - Sunny Days
beautiful Pismo Beach weather has finally returned. It is
sunny and warm. The normally tiny or non-existent
running into the sea have turned into small rivers from the recent
storms, which limits where we can walk along the beach without getting
our feet wet.
2010 - The beach after the storms
storms passing through this week have carved small cliffs into the sand
and left the beach littered with seaweed. The waves and
have left intricate patterns in the seaweed and and small pieces of
debris swept upon the beach.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010 - A Double Rainbow
About 5PM sudden gale force winds blew in extremely heavy
I was immediately drenched. Though there were heavy clouds
overhead and the rain was pouring down, the sky was clear over the
ocean. The sun, low on the horizon shown brightly through the
rain, creating a spectacular double rainbow. The wind and
ceased within a few minutes. As we drove east on Grand
one of the rainbows appeared to end at The Girl's Restaurant on Grand
Ave. in Arroyo
Grande. We immediately drove there. Alas, we did not find a
of gold, however we did find a delicious dinner and friendly service
(along with a dry towel).
19, 2010 -
is still a lot of rough surf caused by the storms that are passing
through this week. It is fascinating to watch the large waves
Monday, January 18, 2010 - Big Storm
A big storm blew through today (OK, so it does rain during the day some
to the time). We had a few hours heavy rain starting in the
morning followed by very strong winds. It knocked power to
of the area, including our house. The skies cleared, and it
became a beautiful sunny afternoon. Having the choice of
in a dark house, or enjoying a sunny afternoon on the beach,
headed down to the beach for a walk and to observe the
heavy surf. Seems a lot of other people had the same
There were lots of people walking up and down the beach, discussing the
storm and blackout. The power was still out at our place when
got back, so we went to Mexico Viejo Restaurant on Grand Ave. in Arroyo
Grande for dinner. The place was busy, and as usual, our
was delicious. And
the power was back on when we got back home.
January 11, 2010 -
A storm approached this evening as we walked along the shore.
Just after sunset it started to sprinkle, and continued to rain
throughout the night. By morning the skies had cleared,
another beautiful day. For some reason it seems to rain more
often at night than during the day around here. We are not
like the song in Camelot, where it only rains at night, but the Central
Coast is a magical area, and it does rain more often at night, leaving
us with beautiful days.
Saturday, January 9, 2010 - The Exploration Station
We attended the opening of The Exploration
Children's Interactive Science Center today. The place was
with kids trying out a variety of hand's on exhibit, including exhibits
on flying airplanes and the human body. Looks like they were
having a LOT of fun. The Exploration Station is located in
old fire house at 9th and Ramona St. across the street from Ramona
Gardens Park in Grover Beach. It is one block north of Grand
Avenue. There were heavy clouds today. It looked like it
rain, but just before sundown the clouds broke, revealing another
Wednesday, January 6, 2010 - Blimp, Bird, and a Beautiful
was another warm day. Across the bay we could see a
blimp circling near Avila Beach. Eventually it flew overhead, and then
headed south towards Santa Maria. Though it is common to see a
this is the
first time I have seen a blimp over the beach. An Egret was
fishing for its dinner in the surf. We had a beautiful sunset with
bright, florescent reds and oranges.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010 - A Beautiful day with lots of
a wonderful, warm
day. I read about the thick Tule fog in the central valley,
how the much of the nation is experiencing snowstorms, near record cold
spells, and I am glad to be here in Grover Beach / Oceano area. Winter
is probably the nicest season. The weather tends to be mild
pleasant with little or no fog, and there are no crowds. On
beach someone built a magnificent sand castle. Dozens of
were out catching the waves near the Pismo Pier. This is
Sunday, January 3, 2010 - Dinosaur Caves Park
walked from the
Dinosaur Caves Park in Pismo Beach, along the bluff,
and down to the beach. There are no dinosaurs or caves at
Dinosaur Caves Park, however there once was an amusement park and
roadside stand that featured a headless dinosaur (the neighbors
objected, so the dinosaur was never completed). One could
cave beneath the bluff by going through the belly of the
dinosaur. Alas, the dinosaur the dinosaur was removed in the
1950's, and the cave collapsed some years later. Now all that
left is a peaceful park with multi-million dollar views of the cliffs
and the ocean. Included are benches to watch the
restrooms, a small play area and nearby picnic tables. One can observe
the jagged rocks of the rugged coastline from the park and bluff and
can easily imagine what it would have looked like when dinosaurs did
roam the area. Farmers Markets and Artists sales
regularly at the park.
Saturday, January 2, 2010 - Guadalupe Dunes
drove a few miles south, to the Guadalupe
to begin our beach walk. There is
a small museum at the dunes which has exhibits about the Dunites and
Cecil B. DeMille's 1923 silent film classic "The Ten
". The Dunites were a
group of artists,
writers, misfits, and mystics that inhabited the Dunes between Oceano
and Guadeloupe from about the 1920's to the 1940's.
somewhere beneath the Dunes is the set used to create Cecil B.
DeMille's 1923 epoch movie. Giant sets were constructed to
recreate the glories of ancient Egypt. When the film was
completed the sets were buried in the sand. Occasionally
are found after a storm shifts the dunes. According to some
the Dunites the “Pillars of Atlantis” are also buried beneath the
Dunes, however they have yet to be discovered.
January 1, 2010 -
Walking a Goat
Many people walk their dogs along the beach. The people enjoy
beautiful scenery, and the dogs enjoy all the intriguing smells found
along a beach. Today we saw someone walking a baby goat.
Previously we have seen someone walking their pig.
never know what you will see on the beach.
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